Sunday, March 9, 2014

Is having a well designed cover and illustration important?

If you have a book that you want to publish, there are two ways to do this. One is to go the traditional route and try to get a publisher interested in it. If this happens, you basically lose all control over your book, and the publishers take over everything connected to bringing the book to the market.

The other option is for you to go the self publishing route and in this case, you wonder whether there is any reason for you to spend any money in getting a good cover done for your book and include good illustrations on the inside.

Granted, self publishing doesn't cost too much money, but this doesn't mean that you won't have any expense. Especially if you are hoping for a good reception for your book.

Already you would have spent some money in getting a good editor to edit and proofread your book, and when it comes to cover design and illustration on the inside, you start to think if all this expense is worth it.

This is a difficult question to answer because there have been quite a few best sellers who never had either. There was no cover design to speak of, except perhaps different colors used for the title on the cover. And there were no illustrations or photos or visuals of any sort to relieve the monotony of the written content, on the inside.

This proves that a good book can and will sell, even without the frills.

Does this mean that you go this route?

I can't answer for everybody, but my opinion on this is that you should not risk it. Do a good cover and include visuals on the inside, whether they be simple charts, or pictures or diagrams or anything else that will break up the written content.

There are a few reasons for my saying this.

Firstly, science has proven that visuals do matter a lot. The old adage that one picture is equal to a thousand words still holds true and visuals really do matter.

Secondly, the cover is the only thing on the book that a person sees first. However great the content on the inside is, you need something to draw people to your book and get them to glance inside. Once they do this, the weight of your content will carry you through, but you still need that initial something to draw them in, and this is what the cover will do for you. Having a well designed cover that captures the interest of the reader will give you that initial push with regards to sales that every author is looking for.

Lastly, your book is a reflection of who you are, and just as your external appearance matters, so does the external cover for your book. You don't want people to start thinking that if you aren't interested enough to get a good cover done on your book, then how much effort would you have put into the content inside, do you?

Now this may be absolutely the farthest thing from the truth, but this is the impression that most people will get in their minds. Whether you believe it or not, most people are attracted by visuals, and ensuring that you have a good cover just means that you get more people to browse through the pages inside.

Of course, not everyone thinks the same, and some others may have different views on the subject. That's all right with me. I'm just giving my opinion for what it's worth, and if it helps anyone, then it's all to the good.

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